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Bay City Rollers singer Les McKeown dies instantly aged 65 as devastated associates pay tribute 

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Bay City Rollers singer Les McKeown has died on the age of 65, his household have introduced. 

The Scottish vocalist, who fronted the enduring pop rock band throughout their Nineteen Seventies heyday and who was recognized for his romantic lyrics and Tartan-clad style, died instantly at dwelling. 

Today the singer’s household expressed their ‘profound unhappiness’ as they introduced his passing on the band’s Facebook web page.

An announcement learn: ‘It is with profound unhappiness that we announce the loss of life of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown.

‘Leslie died instantly at dwelling on Tuesday 20 April 2021. We are presently making preparations for his funeral. 

Bay City Rollers singer Les McKeown has died on the age of 65, his household have introduced

The Scottish vocalist fronted the enduring pop rock band throughout their Nineteen Seventies heyday

Les McKeown discovered worldwide fame in Scottish pop group the Bay City Rollers within the Nineteen Seventies

‘If you wish to bear in mind Leslie, please make a donation in his identify to: [details] We thanks and ask for privateness after the shock of our profound loss. Thank you. Keiko and Jubei McKeown’   

A reason behind loss of life has but to be declared. 

Born in Edinburgh to Irish dad and mom, McKeown joined the Bay City Rollers, in late 1973, changing founding lead singer Gordon ‘Nobby’ Clark, who had change into disillusioned with the band’s musical course.

His arrival coincided with the Bay City Rollers’ ascent to fame and McKeown remained lead vocalist till 1978, showing on Top Of The Pops on a variety of events.

The band, who within the press had been heralded as ‘largest group for the reason that Beatles’, broke by way of into the mainstream in 1974 after a sequence of singles which did not dent the charts.

They went on to collect a big teenage following and bought greater than 100 million data, gaining reputation with their distinctive tartan outfits and upbeat pop songs like Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang 

Alongside McKeown and guitarist Alan Longmuir, the basic line-up additionally included guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood and Longmuir’s youthful brother Derek on drums.

McKeown, Longmuir and Wood reunited for a comeback tour in 2015 with tickets promoting out in minutes.      

Today former supervisor John MacLaughlan stated the pop star had been hoping to get again on the stage once more and was ‘one of many hardest working males within the music business’.

He stated: ‘I’m very unhappy and shocked and so is Peko, his spouse.

‘She is heartbroken and referred to as me from Les’ telephone with the information. I picked up and thought it was Les wanting a chat.

‘I’m nonetheless in shock proper now, I spoke to him final week and he was on nice type and glad about life and glad to guide his tour. We had been associates in addition to working companions.

‘He hoped to get all of it going once more and he was one of many hardest working males within the music business.

Formed on the finish of the Sixties, the Bay City Rollers loved large success at dwelling and overseas

Pictured: the band had an enormous teen following and bought greater than 100 million data

The former Bay City Rollers frontman Les McKeown, pictured along with his spouse Peko Keiko (left and proper), has been described as one of many hardest working males within the music business after his loss of life on Tuesday

‘We bought on so nice and he was nice enjoyable to be round. He had his moments however was all the time a very good snort to be round and a fantastic performer. 

He added: ‘He was a fantastic singer. The Bay City Rollers had been the most important band on the planet within the mid seventies and past.

‘They had their very own TV present and Rollermania. They flew the flag for Scotland and made me assume as a wee boy watching the telly you is usually a popstar and in music and so they meant lots to me getting concerned in music and the business and the garments and the hair and picture had been good and the gang mentality was superb.

‘I’m honoured to have labored with them.’   

Guitarist Stuart Woody Wood stated: ‘I’m upset and shocked to listen to this very unhappy information.

‘Les and I had our variations through the years however regardless that we had disagreements we’re sending our heartfelt condolences to Peko spouse and his son Jubie and all of the Bay City Rollers Fans. It’s a tragic day in Bay City Roller historical past. 

‘He was a fantastic efficiency on stage and he was stuffed with power. Iwas roadying when Les first got here into the band and I noticed his first gig when he took over from Nobby Clark and injected new life into the band.

‘I used to be fifteen and he was seventeen. I joined correctly after I turned sixteen in 74. He had a lot of power on stage.’

The information comes after bassist Alan Longmuir died aged 70 in the summertime of 2018.

Bassist Ian Mitchell, who joined the band in 1976 when he was 17 to switch founding member Longmuir, died aged 62 in September 2020.

Mitchell, who was from Northern Ireland, was the primary band member born outdoors of Edinburgh, however left after seven months.  

The band was fashioned by Alan Longmuir, who died in 2018, along with his youthful brother Derek

While Mitchell was with the Rollers, they launched the 1976 album Dedication and a canopy model of Dusty Springfield’s I Only Want to Be With You.

But he discovered tensions inside the band arduous to deal with and departed that December, to get replaced by guitarist Pat McGlynn.

While with the Bay City Rollers Ian recorded one album, Dedication, in 1976, and had successful cowl of the Dusty Springfield music ‘I Only Want to be With You.’

The monitor reached quantity 12 on the US charts.

He additionally earned a point out in Friends in a 2001 episode when Monica and Chandler get engaged.       

On the official Bass City Rollers Twitter web page at the moment a message learn: ‘We are saddened by the information of Leslie McKeown’s loss of life. Our ideas and prayers are along with his spouse Peko and his son Jubei, their household and associates. Rest In Peace, Leslie’. 

Meanwhile former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith wrote: ‘One of my first loves. I’m feeling some teen heartache however know it’s going to be very actual for his household and associates. Sending love, condolences and thanks for the recollections.’

Elsewhere boxer Frank Bruno wrote: ‘RIPLesMcKeown Bay City Rollers frontman he was a part of the music scene after I was rising up & I bear in mind tartan clad women all screaming it was a hysteria period music sensible with The Osmond’s David Cassidy & Bay City Rollers looks like yesterday I used to be extra into Reggae & soul music.’


Tributes have been paid to the previous frontman of the Bay City Rollers on social media

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